Belinda McCammon in the SST reports:
McQueen did not return for calls for comment all week but sources have told the Sunday Star Times he is seeking the nomination after unsuccessfully standing for selection in the North Shore seat.
I’ve not met Ewen McQueen who might be a very nice man, but my gut reaction is I’d rather vote for a Labour candidate, than for a former leader of Christian Heritage.
If National did select McQueen, that would guarantee it for Banks I suspect.
Former Auckland City Council councillor Richard Simpson, who stood under the Action Hobson ticket, is also seeking selection.
Simpson’s bid for selection has raised eyebrows within some National Party members, with one member describing it as “odd” given his voting history on the council.
Simpson served one term as a councillor from 2004 to 2007 before failing to be re-elected and had a history on the council of voting with the centre-left, including installing Bruce Hucker as deputy mayor and supporting mayor Dick Hubbard as Mayor.
I have to confess I did not know Richard was a member, let alone wanted to be a National MP. His voting record will come under scrutiny I expect. The battle for the nomination could get interesting as Bhatnagar won his Auckland City Council seat off Simpson in 2007.
Ray Presland, a former Auckland mayoral candidate at the last election, could not be reached for comment but is also understood to be standing.
Again, not someone I would have guessed is a National Party member.
I’ve previously blogged on the other three candidates, Bhatnagar, Goldsmith and Krum.